Large com­pa­nies ‘killing’ small Kiwi busi­nesses

Central Leader - - SITUATIONS VACANT - GER­ARD HUTCHING

Large com­pa­nies are ‘‘killing’’ New Zealand’s small busi­nesses by mak­ing them wait too long for pay­ments, ac­count­ing soft­ware com­pany MYOB says.

‘‘You hear of some busi­nesses wait­ing 60, 90, 120 days or more to get paid for work done. It’s not good enough,’’ MYOB NZ gen­eral man­ager Carolyn Luey said.

Pres­sure is mount­ing on large com­pa­nies to make life eas­ier for small busi­nesses who have been de­scribed by ad­vo­cate Small Busi­ness Voice as the ‘‘lifeblood of the econ­omy’’. Crit­ics say New Zealand ought to have a vol­un­tary code of con­duct un­der which large com­pa­nies would pledge to pay their bills in 30 days’ time or less.

Fig­ures supplied by soft­ware ac­count­ing firm Xero show that in the last six months, the coun­try’s largest com­pa­nies had racked up $1.7 bil­lion in over­due in­voices.

New Zealand’s largest firm Fon­terra, the most high pro­file name in­volved, can now take be­tween 60 and 90 days to pay a small busi­ness.

The chief ex­ec­u­tive of Small Busi­ness Voice, Max White­head, said small busi­nesses ac­counted for 40 per cent of GDP.

‘‘They are the lifeblood of the econ­omy, they are the mums and dads, the Kiwi bat­tlers.’’ With­hold­ing pay­ment from them was ‘‘al­most theft’’.

‘‘Fon­terra should know bet­ter, they are a na­tional icon. It’s dis­grace­ful,’’ White­head said.

MAR­ION VAN DIJK/FAIRFAX NZ

New Zealand’s largest firm Fon­terra can now take be­tween 60 and 90 days to pay a small busi­ness.

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